Job Index Inches Up in February 2022

Language Industry Job Index - February 2022

Hiring activity in the global language market inched upward in February 2022 after the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) experienced a dip in January 2022, off the back of record levels in December 2021.

The LIJI was developed to track employment and hiring trends in the global language industry. The July-2018 baseline is the starting point from which expansion or contraction of employment and hiring activity across the industry is measured.

The Slator LIJI climbed by 0.65 points to 173.4 in February 2022, up from 172.75 the month prior after the December 2021 peak of 180.53. The job index climbed more than 71 points in 2021, culminating in a record 11.8-point increase in December 2021. The index grew in 10 out of 12 months in 2021.

The uptick in the February 2022 figure is consistent with the prior year’s trend and is linked to an increase in job ads across most of the platforms monitored by Slator. The increase in February 2022 was less pronounced than in previous years, mitigated by a decline in the number of LinkedIn profiles recorded under Translation and Localization.

Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of January 2022 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment remained resilient throughout the seasonal slowdown associated with the holiday season.

M&A, Funding, Financials

In January, Slator covered news of nine M&A and funding transactions in a bumper start to the year.

New Zealand-headquartered Straker kicked off dealmaking in 2022, buying Belgium-based IDEST for up to EUR 4.5m in cash, shares, and earn-out payments. US-based Propio announced two transactions, as it acquired interpreting providers ARCH Language Network and Intelligere.

German buyers were hot off the mark in January, as t’works expanded into Portugal with the acquisition of Traductanet and Apostroph Group tucked in a boutique LSP based in Switzerland. 

Another Germany-based LSP, DEMAN Übersetzungen, announced its acquisitions of InvaCon Translations (also in Germany) and Traducteo / Accent Mondial (France and Korea). The company took the opportunity to discuss its strategy of snapping up small LSPs around Europe, from single proprietorships to boutique agencies — including Locsoft.net, A4Traduction.com, and MediaMate.com in the past year.

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There was also a flurry of funding news in January, as STAR7 — part of the Swiss-based STAR Group — raised EUR 15m in an IPO in Milan, Italy, in which they floated a percentage of shares, and UK-headquartered Iyuno-SDI Group secured investment from IMM Investment, which landed the world’s largest media localization provider a mega-valuation of USD 1.2bn.

In the US, machine translation (MT) startup, Language I/O, raised USD 6.5m in a series A funding round and on-demand interpreting specialist GLOBO secured a growth investment from VSS Capital Partners, the company’s first institutional funding since it was founded in 2009. 

In financial reporting, various updates began trickling in from the handful of listed LSPs tracked by Slator, with two Australia-listed companies, Ai-Media and Straker, providing updates for the three months to December 31, 2021. Ai-Media grew 25% in the quarter compared to the same period the previous year, while Straker grew 99% on the same basis.

Meanwhile, UK-based ZOO Digital raised its guidance for full-year revenues for the financial year ending March 31, 2022, saying that it now expects 2022 revenues to be at least USD 57m (up from USD 39.5m in 2021).

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The major financial update in January came from US-based Super Agency TransPerfect, which reported full-year 2021 revenues of USD 1.1bn, becoming the first LSP ever to clear the billion-dollar mark.

Over at LocJobs, 30 companies are hiring and there were more than 30 new job postings in the month of January. Companies such as 1-Stop Asia, memoQ, RWS, and Jonckers posted their vacancies for roles spanning business development, project management, leadership, and more.

The Slator LIJI relies on LinkedIn for part of its underlying data. The social media site has some 500 million users, many of whom share data about their skills, experience, location, company, and job titles on their personal LinkedIn pages. There are over 600,000 profiles under the Translation and Localization category and a search using the keyword Localization also yields more than 600,000 profiles.

In addition to using data from LinkedIn, the Slator LIJI also culls data from a range of sources, including global job aggregation sites and additional direct company data collected from Slator LSPI companies.